In what many are calling an unconventional but brilliant move, the American Marketing Association (AMA), the leading national trade association of marketing professionals, is offering free first year membership to camera bloggers and camera forum members.
What makes the move unusual is that most camera bloggers and camera forum members have no formal marketing training. Most have day jobs in any number of fields outside of marketing. Some are retired. Some, surprisingly, are actual real life photographers.
But these facts did not deter AMA President Claire Voyant from making this bold move. In a statement written by a number of subordinates in a conference room and then reviewed by legal, Voyant said, “When we surveyed the camera blog/camera forum landscape, we were amazed at what we saw. Yes, there was the occasional blog post or comment about photography, photography history, and photography technique, but by and large, the most common and popular discussion points revolved about marketing. Bloggers and forum members talked on and on about product development, product marketing, brand strategy and positioning, retail sales channels, advertising, social media, and so on and so on. They go on and on about what company A should do about their product strategy, what company B should do about their advertising, and about what company C should do about their channel distribution. If you blindfolded me and took me to one of these forums, I’d think that you placed me in the middle of a marketing forum not a camera forum.”
Voyant added, “These folks are natural born marketers, diamonds in the rough. Their interest in photography is exceeded only by their passion for marketing. After enrolling in any number of our continuing education courses and seminars (available only to AMA members), they could find gainful employment as a marketer. Our job placement team will help them make this transition to a marketing career.”
Many of the camera bloggers and forum members that we spoke to are very interested in this career-change, but Voyant cautions them against trying to find employment in the camera industry. “Have you seen the numbers?” Voyant said, “The industry’s about to fall into a black hole. But aspiring marketers should not fear, the smartphone/mobile industry is booming and there are plenty of jobs there.”